DEFINITIONS FROM A TAXONOMY OF HUMAN SERVICES
BY INFOLINE OF LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
BASIC NEEDS - Programs that furnish survival level resources including food, housing, material goods, transportation and temporary financial assistance for low and fixed-income, indigent, elderly or disabled people who are otherwise unable to adequately provide for themselves and their families. Also included are related services that are available to the community at large.
ORGANIZATIONAL/COMMUNITY SERVICES - Programs that provide any of a broad spectrum of services for the community as a whole including opportunities for individuals or groups to participate in community improvement or service projects, to have a voice in the political process, to have access to information services, or to benefit from the availability of a variety of services for residents, travelers, newcomers, community agencies, organizations, businesses and industry.
HEALTH CARE - Programs whose primary purpose is to help people in the community achieve and maintain physical well-being through the study, prevention, screening, evaluation and treatment of people who have illnesses, injuries or disabilities; and the provision of family planning, maternity and other services that relate to human reproduction.
MENTAL HEALTH - Programs that provide preventive, diagnostic and treatment services in a variety of community and hospital-based settings to help people to achieve, maintain and enhance a state of emotional well-being, personal empowerment and the skills to cope with everyday demands without excessive stress. Treatment may include emotional support, introspection and problem-solving assistance utilizing a variety of modalities and approaches, and medication, as needed, for individuals who range from the severely chronically mentally ill through those who are experiencing difficult life transitions or who are having problems in coping with daily living.
INCOME SECURITY - Programs that provide for the economic needs of the community by helping those who are able and willing to prepare for and obtain gainful employment; by securing public assistance and support for the eligible needy; and by ensuring that retirees, older adults, disabled people and other eligible individuals receive the social insurance benefits to which they are entitled.
INDIVIDUAL AND FAMILY ASSISTANCE - Programs that promote the personal, social and spiritual development of people in the community by providing services that replace or supplement the care and support that is generally available through the family unit, and by offering social, religious and leisure-time activities that are personally satisfying and lead to optimal social functioning.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE/LEGAL SERVICES - Programs that promote and preserve the conditions that enable community residents to live in a safe and peaceful environment through the enforcement of laws that protect life and property and the administration of justice according to the principles of law and equity. Included are crime prevention programs as well as programs that investigate and make arrests for criminal behavior; provide support for witnesses to and victims of crimes; and provide for the arraignment, prosecution and defense, judgment, sentencing, confinement and eventual release and resettlement of offenders.
CONSUMER SERVICES - Programs that provide for the education and protection of individuals who purchase, use, maintain and dispose of products and services. Included are programs that establish and/or enforce pricing policies, credit reporting and debt collection practices, quality and safety standards for goods and services and other trade practices that affect the consumer; programs that provide information and/or counseling to help consumers manage their finances and make informed credit and purchasing decisions; and programs that provide access for consumers to fair hearings, mediation or binding arbitration when they have complaints regarding consumer products and services and to appropriate remedies when their complaints are justified.
EDUCATION - Programs that provide opportunities for people in the community to acquire the knowledge, skills, desirable qualities of behavior and character, wisdom and general competence that will enable them to fully participate in and enjoy the social, political, economic and intellectual life of the community.
ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY - Programs that preserve, protect and, where possible, improve both the artificial and natural aspects of the physical environment and/or which develop and implement measures for accident prevention and intervention in the case of emergencies in order to promote the public health and safety and enable human beings to live in ecological balance and harmony with their surroundings.